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Colleagues Remember Eugene's First Latina City Councilor


Colleagues of former Eugene City Councilor Andrea Ortiz are remembering her for her compassion and leadership. Ortiz died Monday at age 59.

Eugene City Councilor Greg Evans says Ortiz was a great leader who understood the needs of her Ward 7 constituents, which include the Whiteaker and Trainsong neighborhoods.

Evans: "She was on the Bethel School Board before she became a member of the city council, was on their budget committee, so her career really started out working in advocacy for families – and particularly underserved and underrepresented families. No matter what their ethnicity or their color was, she really worked for people who were less fortunate in the community."

Evans, an African-American, says Ortiz should be remembered for another thing:
Evans: "And she was the first Latina to serve on the Eugene City Council, so that in itself was remarkable."

Her family says Ortiz was hospitalized with bronchitis in late November, then developed pneumonia and died of lung failure Monday.

Angela Kellner is the KLCC host of All Things Considered and a reporter. Angela began as a KLCC volunteer in 1991 when she was in high school. While a student at Lane Community College, she was hired in 1993 for a work-study position in the KLCC Music Department and has been with the station in some role since then. Angela hosted KLCC's world music program Tropical Beat for 11 years from 1994 to 2005 and continues to fill in on a monthly basis.